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  • Author: Ann M. Lesch
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s ruler since July 2013, brooks no dissent. Having “saved” Egypt from the Muslim Brothers, he has ruled by decree in the absence of a parliament, supported by a handpicked technocratic cabinet. His security apparatus muzzles the press, keeps dissident voices off-air, arrests secular as well as Islamist critics, and clamps down on civil society. He has built ten new prisons to accommodate the overflow, as political prisoners may now total 60,000.[1] As typical of military rulers, he announces grandiose projects – the new channel in the Suez Canal, the Dabaa nuclear power plant, million-unit agricultural and housing schemes, and a multi-billion dollar new capital city – without taking into consideration their cost, integrating them into long term plans, conducting comprehensive feasibility studies, or examining their social and environmental impact.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Islam, Politics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Arthur T. Coumbe
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: With the assistance of the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, the Army's Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis published a series of monographs that were intended to provide a theoretical and conceptual framework for the development of an Army Officer Corps Strategy. These monographs consider the creation and maintenance of a highly skilled Officer Corps in the context of the nation's continuing commitment to an all-volunteer military, its far flung international interests, and ongoing changes in its domestic labor market. The authors of the various monographs believe that the confluence of these factors demands a comprehensive Officer Corps strategy that recognizes the interdependency of accessing, developing, retaining, and employing talent. In their view, building a talent-focused strategy around this four-activity human capital model would best enable the Army to match individual officer competencies to specific competency requirements.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, International Affairs, History
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John R. Deni
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The revolutions of the Arab Spring have had profound implications for global security generally and for U.S. security specifically. In most cases, these implications are only beginning to reveal themselves in the various countries affected across the region. Most obviously, the future of Syria—indeed, whether it remains a unified political entity—remains an open question. Whether and how the Syrian civil war is resolved is bound to impact significantly U.S. efforts to help Israel maintain its security. Meanwhile, in Libya, weak governmental institutions and rival power centers have made it difficult for the authorities in Tripoli to gain full control over the entire country. Particularly along Libya's borders, this has magnified the risk of transnational terrorists and traffickers exploiting the poorly governed spaces of the Pan Sahel. Elsewhere, the unfinished revolution in Egypt holds implications for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, for the balance of regional power vis-à-vis Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and for the global trade—especially energy resources—that passes through the Suez Canal every day.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Henry Sokolski (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Governments have funded most of the nuclear industry's research and development, financed or guaranteed loans for its construction and export of nuclear plants, capped its liability for offsite damages in the case of nuclear accidents, and promoted its development internationally. Throughout, officials have insisted that the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation attendant to the further spread of nuclear energy programs are manageable.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Mackubin Thomas Owens, Stephen F. Knott
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: As Americans, we take for granted the idea of a government that is both free and yet strong enough to preserve the security of its citizens. But the fact is that such a government is a recent invention, first emerging as a result of political thought and practice in eighteenth century England and only coming to full flower in Philadelphia with the drafting of the American Constitution of 1787. As Harvey Mansfield wrote in his book Taming the Prince, “the combination of freedom and strength does not arise easily or naturally,” a fact confirmed “both by the grand outline of modern history and the experience of the ancients.” Throughout history, strong governments have generally been monarchies, but at the expense of freedom. It was in republics that freedom was supposed to reside but, before the creation of the American Republic, the republican form of government had a mixed record at best. Ancient republics were characterized by constant struggle between the few (oligarchs) and the many (the demos) that led to instability and weakness. Modern republics also either came to grief (the German cities) or faded into irrelevance and obscurity (Venice and the Dutch Republic). But in Philadelphia, the Founders created a government that combined the freedom of republics with the strength of monarchies. The Founders’ innovation that permitted this pairing of freedom and security to work was the “executive.” In Mansfield’s words, “the executive provided the strength of monarchy without tolerating its status above the law, so that monarchy would not only be compatible with the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution, but would also be expected to serve both. Furthermore, the recasting of monarchy as executive power made it dependably democratic as well as legal and constitutional.”
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Governance, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Brahim Saidy
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which brings together the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, took an unprecedented step during its 34th Summit (held in Kuwait City on December 10-11 2013) by setting up a unified military command structure for its member states. This move reflects the commitment of the GCC to establish a credible joint defense force able to advance the goal of collective security in the region. This military command will have a force of around 100,000, half of which would be contributed by Saudi Arabia, the main advocate of this initiative. GCC members will coordinate air, land, and marine forces under one common structure. In this regard, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, has stated: “We want to create a central command that coordinates between all sub-commands and makes them work under one umbrella. But, the new structure [the Unified Military Command] won’t replace the Peninsula Shield forces.”[1] In terms of collective defense, the core purposes of this command structure are to provide strategic and operational command for all GCC missions and prepare members for operational employment as interoperable multinational forces. This command is expected to have a minimum number of operational commands (land, air and maritime command) as well as joint intelligence system and integrated missile defense in order to execute essential operational and peacetime missions. The challenge for this plan is to be able to undertake command and control of the full range of the military missions, including command and control multinational and multiservice forces, but more importantly to be able to support operations under the political and strategic direction of the GCC. This means that the main goal is not limited to improving coordination between different parts of existing national defense systems, but rather to establishing a real joint operational command structure. The progress towards a fully integrated defense system would allow the GCC to become a real military alliance along the lines of NATO.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Adam C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Why.Is.Management.Important? The UN field mission is a complex beast. From the smallest political mission to the largest peacekeeping operation, it employs a uniquely diverse staff and performs a broad array of tasks in an environment that is sometimes dangerous, often unstable, and always challenging. Resources are scarce and inflexible. Internal regulations and procedures are cumbersome, and, at times, can impede rather than facilitate success. On top of it all, success is often hard to measure or even recognize. Unlike the private sec-tor, success in the field does not come from increased quarterly profits, but rather from a conflict prevented, the perception of a peace dividend, or the renewed optimism of a host population. Unfortunately, UN staff can only contribute to these goals, as so many factors are beyond the mission's control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, International Organization, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Author: Jean Ping
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Everyone knows that Africa, cradle of humanity, land of the Pharaohs and human civilization, and vast reservoir of human and natural resources, is not doing well. She crosses the deepest crisis that has shaken her since the end of colonial times. The specter of chaos lurks everywhere. She is now seen as the continent of “collapsing states” and “zombie nations”; the continent of extreme poverty, misery, and injustice; the continent of horrors, of the Rwandan genocide and of the worst atrocities committed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Darfur and elsewhere. This brutal reality has been, for quite some time now, analyzed by most observers and experts with certain fatalism, as testified by these book titles with pessimistic or even alarmist tones: “Black Africa Started on the Wrong Foot” (René Dumont), “Can Black Africa Take Off?” (Albert Meister); “And What If Africa Refused Development” (Axelle Kabou); “Africa Down” (Jacques Giri). By now, it is just a chorus of permanent lamentations about the “lost continent,” the “damned continent,” or the “cursed continent” whose past is not passing. And the rest of the world, which sees us as negligible, even contemptible (“all corrupt and all dictators,” they say), consider that henceforth, they no longer need us.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Author: David C. Gompert, Phillip C. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and China each have or will soon have the ability to inflict grave harm upon the other by nuclear attack, attacks on satellites, or attacks on computer networks. Paradoxically, despite each country's power, its strategic vulnerability is growing. Particularly since September 11, 2001, Americans have sensed this vulnerability. The extent to which the Chinese sense it is unclear. Vulnerability to nuclear attack is familiar to both countries. But the United States and China are also becoming exposed to damage in space and cyberspace because of their growing reliance on those domains for their prosperity and security, as well as each side's increasing antisatellite (ASAT) and cyber war capabilities. For China, economic integration, production, and commerce-and thus, sustained growth and perhaps political stability-depend vitally on data sharing, making networks and satellites as strategic as they are for the United States. All three strategic domains are "offense dominant"-technologically, economically, and operationally. Defenses against nuclear, ASAT, and cyber weapons are difficult and yield diminishing results against the offensive capabilities of large, advanced, and determined states such as the United States and China. Nuclear weapons are patently offense dominant because a single explosion can destroy a city. Moreover, it is easier and cheaper for China to improve the survivability of its strategic missile launchers, to multiply deliverable weapons, and to penetrate U.S. missile defenses than it is for the United States to maintain a nuclear first-strike capability. Though it has yet to admit it, the United States cannot deny the Chinese the second-strike nuclear deterrent they are determined to have. Satellites are inherently vulnerable: conspicuous, easy to track, and fragile. Destroying them or degrading their performance is easier than protecting them. ASAT interceptors are much cheaper than satellites. Likewise, defending computer networks becomes harder and more expensive as the scale and sophistication of the attacker increase. The woes of the cyber defender are compounded by integrated global markets and supply chains for digital components and equipment-in which U.S. and state-affiliated Chinese corporations are leading competitors-increasing the potential for strategic degradation of network infrastructure and disruption of services. In general, strategic offense dominance gives each country an incentive to invest in offense, which in turn spurs the other to keep pace. Apart from offense dominance, the advance of technology has slashed the costs in lives and treasure of strategic attack, as capabilities have graduated from mass invasion to heavy bombing to nuclear weapons to ASAT and cyber war. If one ignores possible deaths resulting from disruption of public services, ASAT and cyber war might even be considered "nonviolent." As the number of expected casualties from strategic attack options drops, so could international opprobrium and the inhibitions of decisionmakers. Absent deterrence, thresholds for war in space and cyberspace could become perilously low as offenses improve.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Communism, Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Erik Sportel (ed), Vasili Tchkoidze (ed)
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Since the 2003 Rose Revolution, Georgia has undertaken serious reforms, moving the country towards becoming a democracy anda market economy. Instead of proceeding at a steady pace, Georgia haschosen to take an accelerated path to reform. Since coming to office,the Saakashvili administration has underlined its ambition to bring Georgia into Euro-Atlantic structures. After an energetic start, Georgia ran into difficulties in late 2007 and 2008. During this period, the democratic credentials of the Saakashvili government were put to the test for the first time.The government was faced with massive public demonstrations, to which it responded in a heavy-handed fashion. The security forces attacked protesters, and the government declared a state of emergency, blaming the unrest on Russia. Many domestic and foreign observers feared that Georgia was abandoning the road to democracy. However, the state of emergency was soon lifted, and the government called an early presidential election. International observers judged the election to be largely democratic, despite some irregularities, but opposition forces claimed that the president's results had been boosted by fraud. Mr Saakashvili won an absolute majority in the first round of polling. The subsequent parliamentary elections in the spring of 2008 gave the ruling United National Movement party a landslide victory. With 119 out of 150 seats, theparty currently holds a two-thirds majority in parliament. The two major opposition parties (winning 17 and six seats respectively) refused to take their seatsin parliament.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Georgia